University World News Africa Edition
11 September 2016 Issue 180 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Africa’s transforming universities need new kinds of councils

In Africa Features, Brennan Weiss reports on a gathering in Ghana that discussed new kinds of councils needed for Africa’s expanding and transforming universities. Tunde Fatunde attended a meeting of the Association of Commonwealth Universities that looked at next steps for its prestigious scholarship and fellowship plan.
In Commentary, John Richard Schrock explains why open access and piracy of research publications may threaten the core of the science enterprise. Angel Calderon says the 13th edition of the QS world university rankings will be remembered for the gains or losses it brought. Fiona Hunter and Hans de Wit write that the likely loss of the United Kingdom from the European Higher Education Area following Brexit could impact negatively on internationalisation of universities. Jennifer Olson argues that more inclusive internationalisation will enable institutions to act more nimbly to the ‘new mobility’ caused by the refugee crisis. And Ararat Osipian says the latest corruption case in Ukraine against an acting university rector comes as no surprise given that corruption is entrenched in universities at all levels.
In a series on ‘Transformative Leadership’ in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, Dennis Tourish recommends a more ethical approach to leadership, where there is more equal exchange and leaders are subject to criticism.
Be sure to register for the second free webinar to be hosted by University World News in partnership with DrEducation on 4 October, entitled “Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A leadership challenge and opportunity”.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
Esther Nakkazi

Following the suspension of student loans and the imposition of a week-long ultimatum, 15 universities in Tanzania have responded to a ministerial directive to pay back loans issued to them for thousands of so-called ‘ghost’ students.
Gilbert Nganga

Kenyan universities are facing a fresh financial crisis following revelations contained in a recent national audit that they are operating at a deficit of over US$100 million, with serious consequences for education quality.
Christabel Ligami

A crisis is looming in Kenyan universities over the shortage of professors, low numbers of qualified lecturers and low numbers of PhD students in both public and private universities, according to a recent report.
Munyaradzi Makoni

Academic activities at all five campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa have been suspended after two weeks of violent protest which saw the torching of one of the country’s finest law libraries on the Howard College campus in Durban.
Ashraf Khaled

Academics have criticised the recent appointment of Egyptian government ministers and parliamentarians to key university committees by the Supreme Council of Universities, a state-run body responsible for higher education policy and overseeing institutions.
Gilbert Nakweya

Efforts by Kenyan universities to adopt open educational resources are being limited by a range of challenges, including inadequate information and communications technology infrastructure and intellectual property constraints, according to a recent report.
Francis Kokutse

A 617-bed teaching hospital facility constructed with a US$217 million Israeli government loan is being handed over to the University of Ghana. Vice-Chancellor Ernest Aryeetey hopes the new medical facility – and two African Centres of Excellence created under a World Bank initiative – will help boost research.
Brennan Weiss

About a decade ago, Clifford Tagoe was just weeks into his new position as vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana when he made a radical proposal. The university’s academic programming had deteriorated. Its governance was in disarray and there was institution-wide examination malpractice. Ghana’s oldest and most prestigious university was in a shambles.
Tunde Fatunde

A consultative meeting at the recent Association of Commonwealth Universities conference in Ghana gave university representatives from across the Commonwealth an opportunity to air their views on the present operation and visibility of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, and offer ideas for its future development.
Shadreck Chirikure

If you want to learn about Africa, there’s no need to go to Algeria, Mali, Zambia or anywhere else on the continent. Instead, you’ll need to visit – at great cost – institutions in the global North like Johns Hopkins University or the School of Oriental and African Studies. Places like these host a wealth of African knowledge databases.
Ochieng’ O Benny

The increasing cancer burden in Africa has prompted efforts in higher education to tackle a scarcity of oncologists. This month sees the launch of a fellowship initiative by the University of Nairobi and German-based pharmaceutical Merck Group, to train experts across Africa.
Ochieng’ O Benny

Cancer has become one of the most serious disease burdens choking Africa’s fragile and inadequate health infrastructure. While health systems are poorly equipped to deal with a rising number of cases, most shocking is the lack of cancer experts to conduct research, diagnosis, prevention and treatment across the vast continent.

University World News in partnership with DrEducation will be hosting a second international webinar, 'Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A leadership challenge and opportunity' on 4 October. Participation is free if you register.
NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Jan Petter Myklebust and Brendan O'Malley

Minister of Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson has fired the country’s University Chancellor and head of the Swedish Higher Education Authority, Harriet Wallberg, and four members of the board of the Karolinska Institute, or KI, in the wake of the Macchiarini scandal, and a new inquiry has damned the institute’s "poor leadership".
Brendan O'Malley

United States universities pulled away in the latest QS World University Rankings, and Asian universities continued to rise, while Western European institutions suffered a downturn in performance.
Yojana Sharma

The 2014-15 student-led pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong known as Occupy Central or the Umbrella Movement has led to a dramatic change in the Hong Kong political landscape with a number of the movement’s activists gaining seats in Legislative Council elections.
Brendan O'Malley

United Kingdom universities could face a sharp fall in European Union student numbers next year unless the government provides reassurance that they will be able to receive loans and grants, the head of Universities UK said. She also demanded changes to the visa regime to help attract international students and staff.
María Elena Hurtado

A rector and his staff were locked up and intimidated by students defending peers who protested for changes to proposed higher education reforms, amid widespread criticism of the plans. Fearing rejection of the bill, the government is considering changes.
Michael Gardner

As support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policy plummets, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, or NRW, has announced extra funding for the integration of refugees in higher education.
Jan Petter Myklebust

The Lars Løkke Rasmussen government is moving to cut funding for universities and the student financing system and increase political control over higher education institutions. The measures include a switch from grants for masters students to loans.
Dennis Tourish

Investing ultimate power in strong leaders leads to ethical failures. True transformation will only happen when there is a more equal exchange, where leaders are subject to criticism and where everyone has an input into making decisions that affect them.
John Richard Schrock

There are two major problems with open access that threaten the core of the science enterprise: the dismantling of professional societies and the loss of a permanent science record.
Angel Calderon

Traditional research universities are under threat from newer institutions in areas such as technology, according to the QS rankings, and developing countries are biting at the heels of the developed.
Fiona Hunter and Hans de Wit

Brexit and how British universities articulate the case for European collaboration and internationalisation is not just an issue for the United Kingdom. The loss of the UK from the European Higher Education Area will affect everyone.
Jennifer Olson

Creating a more inclusive approach to internationalisation enables institutions to act more nimbly and creatively to the ‘new mobility’ caused by the refugee crisis and is needed more broadly to balance exclusionary practices.
Ararat Osipian

The latest corruption case at a Ukrainian university is just part of a pattern that starts at the very top. If there were a ranking that rated world higher education institutions based on how corrupt they are, some of Ukraine's universities would be among the top spots.
Nita Temmerman

University-industry collaborations rely on trust and that needs to extend to curriculum design, ensuring that it helps turn out students with the skills necessary for the real world of work.
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Faced with a flood of refugees, Norway has tested a new fast-track procedure to evaluate the qualifications of those who arrive in the country without proper documentation of their academic degrees or professional certificates, writes Burton Bollag for Al-Fanar Media.

Leading British universities are considering opening campuses in Europe in order to keep crucial research funding and partnerships, amid uncertainty over the consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The idea comes as universities wrestle with how to reassure students and academics across the world that they will not close their doors to Europe, writes Anna Fazackerley for the Guardian.

Academics staying in their university positions beyond retirement are good for mentoring younger scholars, but are hogging positions newly qualified researchers need to break into the higher education teaching and research space, writes Noloyiso Mtembu for the Sunday Independent.

Cries of penury from universities facing a 20% funding cut are ringing hollow in light of new analysis that reveals the sector is 50% better off in real terms than it was a decade ago, writes Julie Hare for The Australian.

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan will send 10,000 scholars to the United States for PhD studies from next year in critical areas of agriculture and food security, medical and allied health sciences, energy, water, climate change, and advanced digital technology, among others, reports Dunya News.

An analytical publication on international relations, Russia Direct, issued a report on the modernisation of higher education in Russia. Its main conclusion: In order to stimulate start-ups it is imperative for universities to rethink the relationship between teaching and research, writes Victoria Zavyalova for Russia Beyond The Headlines.

The government of the Philippines is planning to introduce mandatory drug tests for all new college students, an official for the Commission on Higher Education said. The measure is the latest step in President Rodrigo Duterte's effort to battle illegal drugs in the country, reports Aljazeera.

The Association of University Heads in Israel asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to re-examine his position that equates Torah education with academic degrees, in a letter sent by the group recently, reports The Jerusalem Post.

The Netherlands’ universities of technology have warned they may have to restrict new admissions to their current level unless the government increases its funding, reports Dutch News.

Should higher education be a profitable commodity or a public good? That’s the central question in the documentary “Starving the Beast”. Filmmaker Steve Mims turns his camera on the complicated battle over public universities and comes up with a movie that might be dry, but also feels necessary, writes Stephanie Merry for The Washington Post.

The central government has been pushing Sanskrit as a study medium, but there seem to be no takers for the Vedic language. One-third of nearly 150 departments of higher education in Sanskrit had to shut down in the last three years due to low enrolment in Sanskrit courses, writes Richa Sharma for The New Indian Express.

All Scottish universities have agreed to accept poorer students with lower exam grades in a bid to boost the number of working-class undergraduates, writes Andrew Denholm for the Herald Scotland.

A public relations spat has broken out between the African National Congress Youth League and its youth alliance partner in the South African Communist Party against the backdrop of rising tension at universities over the prospect of fee increases, writes Bekezela Phakathi for BDLive.

When he was two, Jeremy Shuler was reading books in English and Korean. At six, he was studying calculus. Now, at an age when most kids are attending middle school, the exuberant 12-year-old is a freshman at Cornell University, the youngest the Ivy League university has on record, writes Mary Esch for Associated Press.
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This Week

Africa Features
Universities in Ghana mull the roles of councils in a rapidly changing higher education landscape

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan has come under the spotlight

How open access and piracy of research publications threaten the core of science

Older research universities are under threat from newer institutions – according to the new QS ranking

The UK's exit from the European Higher Education Area will affect everyone

Refugee situation in Europe calls on higher education to re-imagine internationalisation

Latest corruption case follows a pattern of such scandals in Ukrainian universities

World Blog
Curriculum design ideally requires collaboration between universities and industry

Transformative Leadership
It is time for a fresh leadership approach based on greater equality